Recent satellite images indicate that North Korea’s plutonium-production reactor is operating again following a reported possible shutdown.
In commercial satellite photos taken as recently as this month, water can be seen pouring out of the five-megawatt electric reactor, according to a Wednesday analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security.
The discharged water is most probably coming from a secondary cooling system used to chill the gas produced from the nuclear-reactor core, concludes the assessment by David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini. The water indicates either “testing or ongoing operation” of the graphite reactor, they said.
According to a separate image analysis by 38 North issued earlier this month, between December and February, Pyongyang may have temporarily shut down or significantly curtailed operations at the reactor in order to conduct emergency maintenance work necessitated by recent flooding.
None of the April photographs analyzed by the ISIS experts, though, showed signs of steam emanating from the reactor’s turbine building. Were steam being regularly emitted, it would indicate regular reactor operations, according to the analysis. It noted, however, that the lack of steam did not necessarily mean the facility was not being consistently operated.
North Korea disabled the graphite reactor in 2007 in accordance with a now-dead denuclearization agreement with Washington. The Kim Jong Un regime last spring announced that it would reactivate the reactor so it could begin producing fissile material for the country’s nuclear arms program.
Separately, North Korea’s uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon appears not to have had any new exterior work done on it since it was last analyzed by the institute in December. This could mean that a previously detected construction effort to double the size of the enrichment facility has been completed, the institute said on Wednesday.
“North Korea could now be concentrating on installing equipment and even centrifuges inside the expanded building,” according to the analysis.
Correction: This article was changed after publication to accurately describe the graphite reactor analyzed by the Institute for Science and International Security.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”